Helping more clients join the dots between PR and marketing, launching Tech Climbers in new regions, and taking a deep dive into their growth plans on our Beyond programme. It's been a busy time for Active Profile. We caught up with CEO Anna Heyes to hear all about it...
Who are Active Profile?
We're an integrated marketing and PR agency based in the Baltic. We're all about uniting profile and performance – that’s our specialty. With a team of talent and an ‘all in’ mentality, we connect content and PR strategies with demand gen and performance marketing to deliver really powerful results.
We've been around for over 18 years and mainly work with tech, real estate, and professional services clients. Everyone from ambitious scale-ups to Microsoft.
We also head up Tech Climbers, an annual list of the fastest growing tech businesses in the region.
Can you tell us a bit more about Tech Climbers?
Our mission is to showcase and celebrate scaling tech businesses in growth regions across the UK. It’s about shining a light on them and encouraging sector growth by connecting businesses with support and investment.
We first launched Tech Climbers in 2019 in the Liverpool City Region with founding partners (Growth Platform) and the Activate business support programme. And we just saw huge potential for it to make an impact in the LCR and beyond. We’ve steered it through COVID and refined and developed it so more businesses and partners can get involved.
What do you hope Tech Climbers can achieve?
We want to celebrate the successes of IP rich, product-led businesses and encourage growth in the sector. When people get a place on the list it gives them exposure, credibility, and a platform for investment. And our events are an opportunity to connect with like-minded businesses, advisers, and those looking to invest.
Tech businesses face unique challenges. They have a different life cycle to other sectors, and through Tech Climbers we’ve connected business leaders with advisers who have the specialist knowledge to support them, and funding streams to help them grow.
When will the Liverpool 2023 list be revealed?
We’ll be revealing who has made it onto the Liverpool City Region list on 9 February, so watch this space! We’ll be launching again in Leeds in spring and are in talks with other regions to launch there very soon too. We’re excited about showcasing some great tech clusters in regions that are sometimes overlooked.
You’ve recently been on Gather’s Beyond programme – how has it helped you and the business?
The great thing about Beyond is it’s totally tailored to what you need as a leader and a business. It’s helped us develop a strategic growth plan for the business and to structure our leadership team. We’ve now fully aligned what we’re doing as a brand with our purpose and our financial performance and having that framework in place is helping us to stay focused on our growth goals.
Being accountable to and having the support of an external sounding board has been so useful. We all get curveballs thrown at us, we all have good and bad days, and having someone who you can call and get a different perspective from – someone who has been there and done it – makes a real difference.
What challenges are you facing as business?
Identifying the right clients that fit with our proposition is always a challenge. You know when you’re aligned and that’s when the best work happens.
Keeping a strong culture as we grow is a challenge too. We’ve been through a lot of change and we’ve had to work at staying connected as a team – but I think we’ve done it really well. Part of that is making sure we can have a bit of fun! It’s easy to get lost in deadlines but you need to find those moments amidst the busy times. Tech Climbers gives us the opportunity for that too – it’s something we can all own, it’s a bit of an escape, and something we can experiment and grow with. And we get to collaborate with incredible people like TechBlast, BusinessCloud – and Zut Media whose content really brings it all to life.
What does the future look like for Active Profile?
We’re going into year one of a three-year strategy and by the end of it we want to build the business to a team of 26. We bought our space in the Baltic last year and it’s been really nice to put solid roots down ready for the next chapter and bring everyone back together after COVID.
When it comes to clients, I really want to help more businesses make the most of integration. Too many people get their heads turned by shiny campaigns, but the real power is in long-lasting brand building, in connecting the dots between PR and marketing. I think there’s an education piece there that we want to dig into and become known for. And have some fun along the way…
Find out more about Active Profile and Tech Climbers here.